We’re on Minute 16 of the Ryan Lochte story. But it feels like Minute 16,000. More than a week after the lie, it’s hard to believe we’re still talking about this.
But, after going Instagram apology on Friday, Lochte un-dyed his hair, or re-dyed his hair, threw on a button-down, and sat down with NBC’s Matt Lauer to explain what happened and how it all ended up the way that it did. And his explanation essentially boils down to one thing: I was drunk.
Asked why he lied during his interview with Billy Bush, Lochte said, “It was still hours after the incident happened. I was still intoxicated. I was still under that influence, and I’m not making me being intoxicated an excuse. It was my fault, and I shouldn’t have said that.”
Right, but you weren’t still drunk later in the week when you stood by your story. And even if you were still drunk in that interview, here’s an idea – don’t do the interview.
But he couldn’t resist. He saw the cameras. He saw Billy Bush and being the pub addict that he is, there was no way he wasn’t talking to this dude.
The mic is his crack: someone offered him some and he hovered the entire thing. Dude’s the ultimate fiend. He sees Bush or Lauer or a camera or a mic, and he’s coming off the rails. Because pub and getting people to look at him are his rails.
Asked by Lauer how a bad night in a gas station turned into a dramatic sequence out of Die Hard, Lochte said: “I over-exaggerated that story. If I had never done that, we would never be in this mess. Those guys would never be in Rio — or were in Rio.”
Wait, what? Where are they? Who are they? What’s going on? Are you still drunk right now? I’m confused. But then again, so is Lochte.
And another thing: you didn’t over-exaggerate that story: you flat out made it up. You didn’t over-exaggerate. You lied. Which is what I keep coming back to. Why the hell did you lie in the first place? Why did you make up that stupid story to begin with? Anyone know the answer to that?
One thing he did get right is that if he hadn’t run with that story, “None of this would’ve happened. It was my immature behavior.” Right, except you’re 32, not 22.
At 32, usually, you’re not still figuring it all out. You have your life, your career, your responsibilities. Your retirement account.
You’ve competed all over the world; unlike the bros you abandoned and left to fend for themselves, you’ve been here before. You know the drill. Instead, you’re out getting blasted in a foreign country, lying about it, embarrassing yourself, Brazil, the U.S. and basically tainted any otherwise great Olympiad.
Here’s my advice to you, Ryan. Go away. Actually, it’s a demand. Just please go away.
It’s embarrassing – for you, for us, for everyone, but mostly for you. And I’m not totally sure you recognize that. It’s over, and by it, I mean your fame, your celebrity, your endorsements, and most likely, your swimming career.
But worse than that, you’re not cool. You’re not interesting. You’re boring. No one wants to see you or hear you: beat it.